Distractions – musings of a writer

So, it seems like it’s high time for a writing update! And what is the content of this blog post about ‘writerly’ topics. Umm. Dunno. I guess that’s it.

I’ve had a lot more time on my hands lately and in the lead up to this I, and others around me, thought woo more writing time. And yet. Have I finished last year’s Nano work? No. Have I posted a plethora of blog posts? No. Have I gotten even half-way through the competitions and submissions I want to work on. No.

Now why is that? Why, when someone wants to be a full-time author, would they end up not producing loads when they finally get the time? I think there are a few factors involved in this:

  1. Computers. Yes, Twitter you are a big part of this. I have been scrolling through incessantly. But not even posting that many tweets, just reading what everyone is doing! Oh look, someone’s tweeted about another blog prompt, maybe I’ll go do that… No!!! Focus. It’s so hard! This is why I’ve even ended up going back to writing some by hand, completely unplugged because it’s the only way I won’t open up another window. And even then, I caught myself sneaking my phone out for a minute.
  2. Imposter syndrome. I hadn’t heard the name until I trawled through hours of tweets and facebook posts. Social media can play into this too. I have been known to fret over why a tweet story hasn’t gotten many likes, and ‘look, my average likes have dropped dramatically but if you look at x, y and z they have ‘millions’ of likes. I must be rubbish!’ It has many faces though. When each competition longlist comes out without your name on again, it’s another blow, another question as to whether this is all a good idea. This in turn leads to my complete inability to write in daylight! Jobs pop up, ooh look the oven is dirty, or I haven’t hoovered in a couple of hours. It’s as if my subconscious has decided it’s a silly hobby that must be confined to playtime and should not infringe on adult hours. Last laugh’s on me though. Nothing left to clean!
  3. When the ideas just don’t come. I know I’ve mentioned this before but what sort of submission is worse one with a theme or one without? I’ve complained about both. ‘That’s too narrow, I can’t think of anything to do with that,’ versus, ‘but that could mean anything, I’ve got too many ideas, I don’t know what they want!’ Thus begins a period of sitting staring at a screen not having the foggiest what to write. And the longer you sit there, the harder it gets.

If you were hoping this blog post was going to give you answers of how to get round them. Sorry. No can do. All I’m hoping is by airing these and acknowledging them, I might be able to muscle them out of the way. From this day forth I shall write more disconnected from the internet, I shall work on specific projects and not overload my plate and I shall write what I want not what I think others want. And while I’m at it I might sort out Brexit. Yes all sounds a bit farfetched. But perhaps if I manage one of these, it’s a start. Or if you’ve read this thinking, oh that’s me! Now at least you realise there are others of us blundering our way through and it doesn’t mean you’re not a writer. Now, I suppose I better go read through a draft. Just after I go host a #MusicalChaos prompt game on Twitter that its…

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